Snacking ought to be banned on public transport and additional taxes levied on unhealthy foods to tackle child obesity, England’s outgoing chief medical officer says.
In her final report as CMO, Dame Sally Davies also demanded stricter rules on advertising and takeaways.
She stated that children needed more help as they were “drowning in a flood” of unhealthy options.
A target to reduce the rates by half by 2030 has been set.
Will we see radical action to tackle child obesity?
Dame Sally stated: “The inevitable fact is that over time, our environment has become very unhealthy without us realizing.
“Our children are now suffering from excruciating, potentially life-limiting disease.
“Our politicians must be bold and support everyone to embrace healthier life choices.”
The proportion of obese and overweight children has increased two times in the last 30 years.
Today approximately a third are obese or overweight by the age of 11 in England – with a minority, but increasing number classed as severely obese.
The problem is most severe among girls – where the UK has one of the highest rates in the world.
There are signs the growth has begun to level off, but among the most deprived communities rates are still mounting.
Children living in the poorest tenth of areas are more than twice as likely to be obese than those in the richest.
Obesity upsurges the risk of a range of diseases from diabetes, heart diseases to cancer.
In fact, until recently type two diabetes was considered an adult problem, but now there are more than 100 new cases each year among children.